tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC November 9, 2015 11:37pm-12:37am CST
let't'get to the news. jeb bush said in a new interview that while it could have a dangerous effect on everything else, he would go back in time and kill hitler as a child. while ben carson is saying he did. [ laughter ] dr. ben carson is drawing intense criticism after reports have surfaced that he may have embellished his history of violence as a teen, his scholarship to west point, and other parts of his life story. not only that, but it turns out the twins he separated were fraternal. [ laughter ] the rnc chairman, reince priebus, said today that the dia is unfairly fixating on dr. ben carson. and ben carson said that reince priebus is a condition that can result in blindness if left untreated. [ laughter and applause ] bernie sanders, on friday, said
joy of his life. and his grandchildren said the very same thing about their grandchildren. [ laughter ] bernie sanders this weekend argued against the major political fund-r!jsing families, sayivg, "that is not called democracy, that is called oligarchy." bernie, you've got to dumb it down a l ltle. most americans think "oligarchy" is that place that serves unlimited breadsticks. [ laughter and applause ] oligarchy. you're family. despite being called the winner of the third undercard debate, senator lindsey graham will be left out of this week's fourth g.o.p. event. whwhh actually works out pretty well for lindsey graham, since it's crunch time for toy-making at the north pole. [ laughter ] doesn't look like he's looking
forward to making those toys. [ light laughter ] apple's new ipad pro goes on sale on wednesday. the ipad pro has 78% more display area than the previous momols. which means you'll look 78% dumber taking pictures with it. [ laughter and applause ] adnan syed, the subject of last year's hit "serial" podcast, is being given a new trial to admit new evidence uncovered by npr reporters. the staff at npr was so excited, that they quietly cleared their throats. [ laughter ] a new trial. [ clearing throat ] [ laughter ] some christians lashed out at starbucks on social media this weekend because they feel the company is rejecting christmas by not putting snowflakes on their seasonal cups. which means they're really not
dunkin' donuts. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] the rockefeller center christmas tree arrived on friday, and is 78 feet tall and weighs in at 10 tons. while the rockefeller center menorah is -- well, look at that. it's right there. there you go. [ laughter ] looks a lot bigger when you're right next to it, like i am. [ laughter ] that's right. the rockefeller center christmas tree arrived on friday. they're calling the tree "jeb", because it's a dying bush. [ audience ohs ] [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] see it now. gone by january. don't miss it. don't miss it. green bay packers quarterback aaron rodgers was caught smashing a microsoft surface tablet out of frustration on the sidelines this weekend. but in his defense, he had just
updated adobe a few days ago, and it popped up again. [ laughter ] thatatill get to a man. and finally, according to a new study, 20% of american women don't gain enough weight while pregnant. while the other 80% aren't pregnant, you ass [ bleep ]! [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, we have a great show for you tonight! she is one of the funniest comedians around. returning to the show, the wonderful kathy griffin joins us. [ cheers and applause ] he is a wonderful actor and now a writer and director. we're gonna be talking about his new film, "shelter." paul bettany joins us. [ cheers and applause ] and he is a brilliant writer and the best-selling author of "between the world and me," journalikt ta-nehisi coates stops by. [ cheers and applause ] very mucuclooking forward to spspking to him. before we get to all of that, republican presidential
candidate ben carson has come under scrutiny this week, after a ries of reports called into question d dails of his biography. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: somehow, some way, ben carson pulled off thth impossible and had the craziest weekend of any g.o.p. candidate, despite the fact that his closest competitor did this. you used to call me on the cell phone [ laughter ] >> seth: good jo. there are three main allegations against dr. carson. first, hislaim that he was offered a full scholarship to west point has been scrutinized. and then the "wall street journal" published an article questioning a story from carson's time at yale. and then cnn aired a report challenging this charming anecdote from carson's childhood that he told on "meet the press" just a few weeks ago >> many people know the story of when i was 14 and i tried to stab someone. >> seth: aah, youth. [ light laughter ] my sweet, sweet stabby youth. [ laughter ]
but wait, before you get too excited, according to cnn, none of the carson classmates or neighbors they contacted could corroborate that story. >> cnn interviewed nine of carson's friends, neighbors and classmates. and d l say the violent, impulsive person carson has described himself as is unrecognizable to them. >> i was really surprised when i read he tried to stab someone. i was like, "what?" [ lighghlaughter ] >> seth: even crazier is where i read it, in a book written by ben carson. also, you know this election is unlike any other in history when ththrepublican front runner is allegations that he didn't try to kill anyone. [ laughter ] "i swear, i stabbed multiple people. i'm better at stabbing than anyone else in the 2016 field. i could stab circles around marco rubio." [ laughter ] i mean, for real. in carson's defense, those were doing him a favor by saying he didn't stab someone. "hey, ben, did you a solid. told cnn you never stabbed anyone."
i thought you were my friend!" [ laughter ] the usually soft-spoken carson defended himself from the allegations at a feisty news conference on friday and blamed the liberal media for going out of its way to dig up dirt from his past. >> they are getting desperate. so, next week it will be my kindergarten teachererho said i peed in my pants. [ light laughter ] >> seth: when everyone knows it was my classmates peeing their pants, what with me waving my knife around during recess. [ laughter and applause ] well known. dr. carson also suggested he's being held to a higher standard than any other presidential candidate, inclung barack obama. >> i do not remember this level of scrutiny for one president barack obama when he was running. >> seth: i'm sorry. do you not remember the whole birth certificate thing? [ laughter ] there's literally no way to question a person's background more than to say, "prove you are who you say you are." but you'll be happy to know that the people who made those
regrettable accusations abt president obama are currently tied for first. [ laughter ] now, you may remember in recent weeks several republican candidates have been complaining about the liberal media and its obsession with "gotcha" questions after the cnbc debate. so naturally, with carson now mamang the same complaints about the media, his g.o.p. brothers-in-arms came to his defense. >> i don't have a whole lot of sympathy. he should answer the questions, forthrightly and directly. >> i mean, he wrote it. i didn't write it. but, you know, he's going to have to explain a lot of things away. >> life ain't fair. i'm telling you. but i will go on record today and tell you this, mika. i never hit my mother r th a hammererand i never stabbed anybody. [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, yeah. ben carson has also said he tried to hit h own mother with a hammer. but look, be it hammers or stabbing, they're all fairly minor compared to comments carson has made about actual policy.
>> obamacare is real, i think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. >> i would not advocate that we put a muslim in charge of this nation. >> if there had been no gun control laws in europe at t at timemewould 6 million jewswsave beenenlaughtered? >> i think the likelihood of hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people would have been armed. >> seth: or hammers. [ laughter ] implying that gun control helped lead to the holocaust or comparing obamacare to slavery are much worse than a few self-aggrandizing fibs. and those are the kinds of irresponsible statements we should be focusing on. that or we could focus on this real painting of ben carson and jesus that according to "the guardian" nepaper actually hangs in ben carson's home. [ laughter ] how great is this painting? [ laughter ] this looks like something a record producer would paint in
[ laughter and applause ] jesus's hand is on ben carson's shoulder as if he's saying, "give me the hammer, ben, he's not worth it." [ laughter ] this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with more "late night"! [ cheers and applause ] o ththks they can solve e is math problem? two cars are travelili in the same direction, how long until they collide? you ready to solve it? go. woah! [buzzer sounds] go. [buzzer sounds] go. [buzzer sounds] what's the answer? i don't know. it was a lot to process quickly, right? want to meet a car that can help do it for you? sure. i'd love to. yeah! the chevy equinox offers forward collision alert to help warn you when you're approaching another vehicle too fa. so you can take action. wow. it's smarter than i am. fact you won't find the brand pharmacists recommend most for cold and flu relief at the shelf.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. please join me in welcoming the 8g band. how are you, everybody? [ cheers and applause ] so good to see you. also, back with us all week, he's the drummer for arcade fire, jeremy gara is with us. [ cheers and applause ] welcome back, jeremy, so happy to have you here. now, here at "late night," we just love slogans. they are so much fun. you guys, for example, harmar -- hall -- i think i'm saying this right. harrmark greeting cards. [ laughter ] is that right? harrmark? [ light laughter ] seems like it should be hallmark. hallmark's slogan is "when you care enough to send the very best." [ laughter ] oh, we'r'roff the rails! maxwell house, "good to the last drop." i love a good drop. and l'oreal's slogan is "you're worth it." i am. tell myself that every day. [ laughter ] well, we tnk why should only products have slogans?
one. so we came up with some for you in this segment that we call "new slogans!" [ cheers and applause ] let's start with a new slogan for pumpkin spice. "pumpkin spice -- it's cinnamon." [ laughter ] you know it's cinnamon, i know it's cinnamon. don't tell me there's any pumpkin in that. next, we have brunch. let's see the slogan for brunch. "brunch -- the other white meet." [ laughter ] and the first white meet is, of course, farmer's markets. we were looking for farmer's markets. [ laughter ] nene, we have first class. let's sesethe slogan for first class. "first class -- board early and soak up the dirty looks." [ laughter ] and then, you want to get those dirty looks off, just use that hot-ass towel. [ laughter ] next, we have hard cider. a fall favorite.
let's see it. "hard cider -- apple juice's unreliable cousin." next we have a slogan for r something very popular on morning shows, the ambush makeover. let's see the new slogan for ambush makeovers. "you're ugly, and we noticed." [ laughter ] and we fixed it for a day. next we have a slogan for zumba class, a popular fitness trend. let's see it. "zumba class -- go, love it, never go again." [ laughter ] next, this is very helpful, 'cause this has never had a slogan. we have a new slogan for awkward hugs. let's check out our new slogan for awkwkwd hugs. "oops, you were going in for a handshake." [ laughter ] and finally we have children's dance recitals. let's see it. "children's dance recitals -- dance like your dad's not tching, because he isn't. [ laughter ] listen, it's not that he forgot.
he had a meeting that ran late. not showing up doesn't mean he doesn't love you. it's just, you know, he's trying to provide for his family. do you want to be able to keep taking dance lessoso? well, then daddy needs to work, and sometimes that means he's not gonna be around. and yeah, maybe at the end of the day, he stays a little later at work to have a scotch and lk to becky, the vp wf sales, but they're just talking and unwinding. and every once in awhile sharing an innocent text message. let's not tell your mom about that last part. the point is, you'll always be my ballerina princess even if i never see you do it." [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with more "late night." [ cheers and applause ] there are things we expect from a phone screen we expect it to be ridged. we expect it to be flat. we expect it to be fragile. but t at if it wasn't? wouldn't that change what we expect from a phone? meet the new droid turbo 2.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth:ur first guest tonight is a two-time emmy and grammy award winner as well as a best-selling author. she is currently touring the country with her latest stand-up show, "like a boss" and she'll also performing at carnegie hall as part of the new york comedy festival on thursday, november 12th. please welcome back to the show, kathy griffin.
>> seth: welcome back! >> why, thk you! >> seth: you look beautiful as always. >> i can't help beininsexy. i'm not going to apologize now, sethy. >> seth: no, of course not. it's too late for that. >> nope. too late! way too late. >> seth: it's too late for that. >> h much fun are we having with dr. ben carson? >> seth: it's a good time right now. >> oh, for comediansnsbecause he's sort of the unexpected funny. like, we know trump is ridiculous and a buffoon. >> seth: yeah. >> and a bther and a racist. but ben carson -- [ laughter ] >> seth:h: know. we're finding a new thing -- >> he e delivering the yuks. yes. he kind of had a meltdown the other night live on television. i love when he does press conferences and he goes, "you know what, enough with the questions!" [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> why don't you -- i mean, he really did. he kept saying -- and even to local press. cause he's like, "why don't you answer some questions?" and the poor press people are like, "uh, well, we kind of thought you -- wake up, sir." [ laughter ] so, yeah.
he's great. but, you know, in this -- in this landscape. >> seth: yeah. >> as you know, it's dangerous to be a stand-up comic. >> seth: it's dangerous. now are you referring to social media? are you referring to this? >> i am referring to all of it. >> seth: yeah. >> certainly when i play the bible belt there's like, you know, casinos i've played that actually have a picture of a gun and a thumbs up. >> seth: yeah. >> so i could just get shot on stage. but hopefully that's not foreshadowing, right? knocking on -- anywho. but no, of course the social media. and so, i'm used to, like, the celebrities coming after me. >> seth: right. 'cause you have been critical of celebrities over the years. >> demi lovato, i'm made fun of demi lovato. >> seth: yeah. >> and the lovatics, you know, threaten to kill me on the social media. the kids. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> you know, the kids wanna throw bricks at my head until i die, stuff like that. >> seth: right. just kid stuff. >> they're just 12 years old. >> seth: yeah. mom, i need money for bricks! [ laughter ] >> that's right, i'm going to kill kathy griffith! you know, they never know my name. >> seth: right. >> actually i'm gonna kill reba. i hate her. [ laughter ] and so i was really rprised and the other night i was making jokes about all the cacaidates.
>> seth: yeah. >> and for some reason i was on my way to a show, and i was on at 8:00 in the mark taper forum los angeles as opposed to this thursday where i'll be at 8:00 at carnegie hall! >> seth: oh! [ cheers and applause ] don't mind if you do. >> how about that, new yorkers? >> seth: yeah. >> get a load of the new yorkers, loving it. all right. so my boyfriend said to me, "don't look at your twitter." and by the way, it was also my birthday. and so i'm likik okay, "it's my birthday, and i'm at a show." so, the ben carson army -- >> seth: right. >> -- has come after me. and i made a very innocuous joke. i said, after watching him now handle several press conferences and kind of, you know, lose his temper and not seem to be quite aware of several issues, i said, "i wouldn't let that guy give me a pap smear." >> seth: right. [ laughter ] >> so, harmless. >> seth: harmless. >> harmless. totally fair and harmless. >> seth: yeah. twitter did not t ree. >> no, the tweeters did not agree. and so -- oh, you have so samples of the love? >> seth: i have some. >> we're spreading the love. >> seth: this is from darlin' deb, and before i show it, not so darlin'. >> what? >> seth: so that which one? this is "kathy griffin, your tiny brain is in your butt, i
doubt he wants anything to do with your bottom half." [ laughter ] >> yes. >> seth: she is not darlin'. >> yeah. no, and i think the thing about darlin' deb is a lot of times i'm such a psycho that'll i'll look up p eir profile. >> seth: uh-huh. >> i don't'tnow if you ever do that. >> seth: yes, i do, yes. >> but a lot of times someone profiles, it will be like, grandma of four adorable boys and love #puppies. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah, it's crazy! >> yeah. do you have any others? >> seth: i do, i like this one -- >> because there are some that i can't even say that are so heinous. >> seth: well, this one, here we go, "kathy griffin, sjnce @realbencarson won't be doing any pap smears for you, i guess he won't be neneing that hazmat suit." [ laughter ] >> yeah. >> seth: i want to point out that's, here we go, from maballs s. harry. [ laughter ] [ applause ] so probably not a real name. >> probably not. do you think it's really reince priebus? seth: no, i don't know. >> 'cause he's reince priebus. >> seth: i think it's like he -- >> which is also a fake name, i'm sure of it. >> seth: that's true. he's like a twitter handle. >> yeah. and i'm sure his profile is like, you knkn, one of them was "i love my god and my glock." [ light laughter ] >> seth: yeah. >> which is so comforting as a comment.
>> seth: it is comforting when people -- >> but i do dangerous gigs sometimes. >> seth: yeah, so you -- >> i do colleges sometimes. and there's this new thing when you do colleges. do you know ababt this trigger warning? >> seth: i've heard a lot about trigger warning. there's a lot -- it's a big story around the country now. >> okay, but not for stand-up comics. >> seth: right. >> i mean for, you know, heads of state or elected officials, fine. but i think if you're a stand-up comic, you should be inappropriate, wrong, and sometimes booed off the stage. [ laughter ] >> seth: but -- yes. >> it's happened recently. >> seth: do you, have you -- do you embrace when you're getting booed off stage? >> i keep going. because if theheontract says i don't get the check unless i do 60 minutes, i will have butt crack sweat and flop sweat and i will get that check. [ laughter ] >> seth: right. >> oh, yes. it's sexy. but i have found that sometimes colleges are now tougher than folks older than 19 or 20. and i don't know why, but, you know, maybe like the kids are too sensitive. but i was performing at florida state. >> seth: yeah. >> which is in tallahassee or as they call it "tallanasty." [ light laughter ] and i opened my show and it was 10,000 kids and i was part of their homecoming weekend, which was a -- there's obviously like a gay dean who got fired for hiring me, probably.
>> seth: okay. >hich i feel terrible. >> seth: that's how he outed himself, he hired you? [ laughter ] >> yes, yes. some poor gay dean probably got -- and thought i think she's fabulous and now he's probably out of a job. anyway, so i was there in tallanasty -- >> seth: and i will say, 10,000 is too many. >> it's a lot. >> seth: yeah. >> it was at their basketball court or something. >> seth: yeah. >> and then my openers were the homecoming court, and i know this is a big shock, i actually didn't go to my homecoming. so i don't really relate to those gals too much. and the football t tm, they were there. >> seth: okay. >> and the a capella chorus. so i didn't know -- cause i like to do, you know, 80 cities i one year is a lot. >> seth: sure. >> so i do my research and development in each and every city, each venue. so i didn't know that they're -- you're a sports guy, right? >> seth: yes. >> okay, well -- i didn't know until, like, the day i started to prep, which was the day of the show, that their team is called something i find kind of dated and almost offensive. they're called the seminoles.. >> seth: the seminoles, yeah. >> don't say it like that. >> seth: okay. [ laughter ] >> it's like the redskins. >> seth: right. it's an indian tribe, yes. >> like we should just call them, like, the lamp shades or something. >> seth: right. >> like, do we have to, in this day and age? >> seth: yes. >> so anyway, i did like the first ten minutes of the show telling the kids in the audience, you guys should change your name.
it's really dumb. >> seth: okay, so just to clarify, you followed the footba team. >> yeah, and they were called the seminoles. >> seth: okay, so what did you -- >> i said, hey, okay, hold the -- and then they were doing this thing with like a karate chop. >> seth: they do do -- >> and they go like, oh wee oh. it's so offensive. [ laughter ] and so i went out -- thank you for not having my back, really. but, no. [ laughter ] i went out and i said to 10,000 seminole fans, you guys gotta change that name. >> seth: right. >> it's really dated. and i got booed by 10,000 kids. so i thought it would be funny to win them back. because i have charm, if nothing else. >> seth: right. >> so -- and this was really true. i looked up the name of the top ten registered sex offenders closest to campus. >> seth: okay. >> and i thought that would be funny to like, "i did my local homemerk!" [ laughter ] it was a long hour. >> seth: yeah. that sounds like a long hour. >> and i actually had to -- the stage manager, and i'm not kidding, was off to the side, d he goes, "ms. grififn, we're running to the car. running to the car." [ laughter ] and i ran to the car, for real, sobbing. and i called cher.
[ laughter ] >> seth: you called cher? >> yeah. >> seth: you can just call cher? >> i swear to you. you can tweet her and ask her. >> seth: can i ask this question, how often do you get in such a dire situation that you need to make that call? >> i have to call cher? >> seth: yeah. >> like at least once a week. [ laughter ] >> seth: oh, wow. >> yeah. >> seth: and is cher helpful a time like that? >> yes. i called her and i said, "i'm in tallahassee, florida, i just bombed horribly, i'm sobbing, these kids hate me. i was trying to be funny, it was a disaster." and she said, "what thhell are you doing in florida, , tch! get t ck home! [ laughter ] come home, bitch! come home to malibu!" and she talked me off the ledge. >> seth: there you go that's fantastic. >> you know how it is. >> seth: what a great phone number to have. >> it was important. >> seth: you have a lot of a-list friends. let's be honest. >> well, like anderson cooper, who i'm gonna torture this new year's eve on cnn. >> seth: how many new years is this for you? >> this is our ninth year of doing neyear's and trying to just eradicate ryan seacrest from the planet. >> seth: yes. [ laughter ] >> just once and for all. >> seth: yououe working very hard. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. >> seth: now, it should be noted, true story -- you, ryan, anderson, dinner together every year the night before new year's eve?
>> that is shame-based. but yes. anderson cooper and i do actually have dinner with ryan seacrest the night before new year's. and ryan and i, we've have made up. she and i are pretty good friends now. [ laughter ] trigger warning! trigger warng! trigger warning! shame on you for being -- >> seth: you have to say it first. you have to say trigger warning first. >> oh. yeah. we have dinner and then anderson gets drunk, whic by the way, is like three sips of wine for anderson. [ laughter ] >> seth: okay. >> and then steals all of our secrets. because seacrest of course has this big giant budget and taylor swift and miley cyrus and anderson just shows up with like a jacket. >> set(: yeah. >> he's like how was your year? >> seth: you're very low-fi new year's eve. >> we have offered a true alternative to the extravaganza that the other networks are doing. >> seth: how much prep do the two of you do? >> you know, my goal is to get him fired. >> seth: oh, really? [ laughter ] >> yeah, from all of cnn and all of show business. >> seth: outut show business. >> yeah. i think i could do it. >> seth: you want anderson out of show business. >> or i would love to pants him because that would probably be bad. >> seth: yeah. >> i could pants him. >> seth: cause it's freezing out. it's a terrible night. >> it's freezing. >> seth: terrie night to be pantsed. >> i could pants him and take a [ bleep ] pic.
>> seth:h:here you go. [ laughter ] >> yes. i'm always thinking. >> seth: i feel like you need a third hand for that. the pantsing and [ bleep ] pic. >> are you volunteering? >> seth: i would love to be a part of this. [ laughter ] >> i know. i know. you're only human. >> seth: i would love to be a part of this. i'm there. i'm there. >> you're only human. seth: kathy griffin, everybodod [ cheersrsnd applause ] for more info on her "like a boss" tour, go to kathygriffin.com. we'll be right back with paul bettany.
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>> seth: please welcome to the show, paul bettany. [ cheers and applalae ] >> seth: welcome! welcome and congratulations. the first film you've written and directed, correct? >> yes, it is. yes. >> seth: you've obviously been in a lot of films. this is not a big budgetetilm. what -- being behind the camera,
what was the hardest part or what was the thing you realized most about directing that you did not expect? >> uh -- well, i'll never ask a director a difficult question at dusk ever again. >> seth: oh, because of the importance of getting the shot before the sun goes down. >> yeah, time. time is everything. d i had this fantasy that working with my wife, i would -- she would ask me lots of questions about character and we would be able to discuss it. and actually, every time she ever opened her mouth and asked me a question on s, i would just see a big clock in front of her face. [ laughter ] ticking. ticking. ticking. and i would just think, just [ bleep ] say it! [ laughter ] >> seth: you mentioned, of course, your wife -- your incredibly talented wife is in this film. w, did you know when you started putting this together, "i've got her locked in"? or did you have to actually show it to her, get her to --? >> oh, yeah. she's been brutal with me over the years. so i showed her the whole thing. and she said, "yes, i'll do it," when she read it.
me. because she is incredibly cruel person. [ laughter ] so i knew she liked . and, you know, it really helped. what i discovered most about trying to make a film about a nigerian muslim illegal immigrant and a homeless junkie woman is that people don't want to give you a lot of money. >> seth: right. >> they don't throw money at you to make that film. >> seth: they're not t tnking, "this sounds like the next 'avengers.'"'" yeah. [ light laughter ] >> sure. so it helps if you have, you know, an oscar winner -- >> seth: sure. >> -- hanging around at home, discarded around the house. [ laughter ] and i had one. [ light laughter ] and then -- and i had an anthony mackie, as well -- not in my house. i just want to make that clear. >> seth: no, sure. >> we don't all live together in a weird place. >> seth: so that's a good question. all actors d d't live in the same big house? >> that's right. it's not like the monkees. you know what i mean? by the way, the monkees did live in the same house. >> seth: the band the monkees? >> sure they did.
>> seth: this is a true story. you know -- >> absolutely true story. i rentedheir house once. [ laughter ] it's true. >> seth: where was their house? >> los feliz. >> seth: oh, wow. there you go. >> just telling you. [ light laughter ] >> seth: that's grea [ laughter ] you know, it's been long time. that's tonight's monkees fact. [ laughter ] >> true story. >> seth: so your wife, you mentioned, she plays a junkie in this film, and -- incredibly tough scenes. she's emaciated in the film. were there times where the director in you fell away and you saw her as your husband and thought, "oh, this is awful that i'm putting her through this?" >> yeah, not many. [ laughter ] >> seth: just a couple times? >> i mean, yes, there were. and then -- and it was awful. you know, she -- i mean, i was genuinely -- when i was with my kids, i was really worried about her. she had lost an enormous amount of weight. and then the moment we were on set, there was this sort of lizard brain that kicked in that went, "my god, look at her, she's so frail. it's going to be great to shoot."
but only in very small moments. >> seth: that's good. that's nice that you could control it. that makes a great director. your wife was here, and i want to ask you about this, because i feel as though we have similar wives. she was talking about taking trips with you, and your family. she is very outdtdrsy. >> oh, god, yeah. >> seth: no, you're not. >> no -- i mean, no. that's not true. i really love the outdoors. i love it. i just likiklooking at it and en going into it maybe for like ten minutes and then going to a pub. >> seth: yeah. [ laughter ] >> and then talking about how beautiful it all looks. >> seth: right. so as you look out the window, you'reike -- >> sure! >> seth: "there'e'a nice one out there." >> retreat to a pub after, like, a five-minute walk in the countryside. my wife likes lowering herself down into crevasses. >> seth: see, now, 'cause that's the thing. i like -- a vacation to me is a nice place to read a b bk. my wife has made me go on, i think now at this point, three week-long hiking trips. have you ever done that? >> i know it. my wife wants 5- she said
and that -- yeah. she was right about that. she took us to some -- [ laughter ] because nobody goes there. [ lahter ] >> seth: yeah. >> 'cause it's awful. [ laughter ] and she took us there and she went to some outward bound store where you go and buy, you know, a bunch of like inedible bs to go on holiday with. >> seth: it's very important to have a pack full of inedible bars. >> yeah. right? and then we were at the store, and she id, yeah, "i want that, and some rope and --" i don't know what people buy. but she said, "and then i want two bear canisters" to the guys. two bear canisters. and i went, "wait, wait two seconds. wait a second. at's a bear canister and she said, "it's where you put the foododo the bears don't find you a a eat you." and i went -- [ laughter ] why have we come here? [ laughter ] with our children? [ laughter ] when there's europe and the
entire amalfi coast. and what was wrong with the palazzo sasso? such a lovely hotel. you could see the mountains at a distance. and there were no bears. i -- >> seth: you get hilton honors points for some of those places. [ laughter ] nobody cares about where you slept in a tent. >> no, nobody ca -- no, and it's awful- and you wake up and you -- i'm tall. i'm a tall man. it hurtsts camping hurts. >> seth: right. because you must -- your joints must feel it until noon. yeah. >> oh, it's awful. [ light laughter ^ awful. but she's right, there's no paparazzi. and actually, i i an, the plus side, of course, is if there were paparazzi, you could kill them. and then you could mur -- you could bury them and nobody would er know. [ laughter ] >> seth: right. or you just leave e em for the bears. [ cheers and a alause ] thank you so much for being here. i'm glad that we share that. and congratulations on the film. paul bettany, everybody! "shelter" opens in select cities this friday. we'll be right back with ta-nehisi coates.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. our next guest is a macarthur genius grant winner, a national correspondndt for "the atlantic"c" and the author of the best-selling book, "between the world and me." please welcome to the show, ta-nehisi coates. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: thank you so much for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> seth: congratulations on the book and also congratulations on the macarthur genius grant. [ cheers and applause ] it must be so exciting to win something that hasasenius in the title. there's money too. >> there's money. >> seth: the money is probably better. but have you made anybody call you genius since you have won it? >> yes.
>> seth: yeah, good. [ laughter ] >> mostly my son. i say, "you can't disagree with me now because i'm a genius." >> seth: right. i guess that's probably the most valuable thing to use it with. >> right. >> seth: so someone from the outside calls you a genius. you can just hold th over your son forever. >> that's right. >> seth: that's well done. >> yeah. >> seth: so i wawaed to talk about this book. it's extraordinary. it's very difficult subject matter. you talk about racism from a very personal point of view. you talk about racism as a physical attack on the black dy. what -- what led you to that conclusion? what was the process that brought you to that? >> well, i think we have a variety of euphemisms in this country. and i i ink we don't talk about racism as an actual tangible experience. we have all of these policies and these sorts of names. when you think about, say, a term like affirmative action, right? well, you think,k,well, people just want their kids to get into a decent school." but see in the minds of black parents it's, "i want my kid to get in a decent school so that my kid doesn't grow up like i did in the kind of neighborhd that i did. wherermy body was unsafe." >> seth: m mhmm.
>> it always comes back to that in almost all of our policy. and, you know, we had this video the other day where, you know, the young girl down in south carolina was flipped and dragged across the floor. and people look at the video and say, "that's horrible." but see, there's policy behind that. you know? there's like, literally a law, disturbing school. that's like a law they passed in south carolina. and when you pass laws like that, the result is, you know, physical attacks. and so i want people to recognize that. i want people to see that, ultimately, you're talking about violence at the end of the day. >> seth: you -- because of this book, because of how many people have read this book, i would guess -- is this the case that white people come up to you and say what can i do -- >> all of the time. >> seth: -- to helelracism. all the time. >> seth: and how is it to even have to answer a question like that? >> um -- i feel like it comes from a good place. >> seth: yes. >> i feel l ke it's not, you know, an attack. but i also feel like that's not why i wrote the book.
>> seth: right. >> it is -- this is not a manual for what white people can do. [ laughter ] it's not. you know, i kindf feel like white people have to figure that out themselves. >> seth: sure. >> you know what i mean? just like i had to figure it out myself in this book. and that really is the message. it's about searching, it's about looking. you know? and also, i think in many cases, white people know what to do. you know? seth: mm-hmm. >> i think facing up to that it can be difficultlt >> seth: i wonder if sometimes they're asking, "what easy thing can i do to help racism?" >> i think that's what it is. [ light laughter ] right, right, right. >> seth: is there something i could knock out this weekend? >> right, right. that's the actual question. >> seth: yeam. right. >> that's the actual question. >> seth: i wanted to ask about -- i'm alwayayfascinated by a writer's process. this is such a personal book, and you talk about your own understanding of racism and so much of the thought you put into it over the years and how you were educated by a family and educated at school. how was it? did it write fast, or because it was so difficult, did it write hard? like, i mean, it was -- i felt like i heard you speaking extemporaneously in a really wonderful way when i read it. >> i'm glad you felt like that. [ light laughter ] >> seth: okay, yeah. >> that was not how i experienced it. >> seth: good.
by the way, i'm always glad when a writer tells me it was hard. >> right. >> seth: because i never -- i'm always -- when people say, "oh, it was great, i wrote it in a day." i'always furious. >> yeah,h, don't know. i haven't t t many people like that. >> seth: yeah. >> i know like one person like that. you know, i've taught writing from time to time and i tell people all of the time, the barrier is not, you know, when i t down and write does it sound good? it's going to sound awful for almost everyone. >> seth: right. >> but can you endure the fact that you sound so horrible? and revise over and over again, getting to, you know, not so horrible, to below a arage, to average, to juststood. if you can do that, then you can be a writer. >> seth: mm-hmm. >> but that's a difficult thing to do. you know what i mean? you've got to bear witness to your own terribleness. and this was terrible, by the way. [ laughter ] >> seth: andndo when -- and then when you get it good, when you say, like, "i've done it, it's good," and you show it to an editor, do they usually agree with you right away? or do they come back and say -- >> not the editor of the editor >> seth: okay. >> no, no, no. my editor, chris jacksononno, not at all. nonoat all. he sent it back four different times. it was bad. >> seth: really? i thought it was good, and he book." >> seth: wow.
>> seth: that's hard. that is a hard thing to hear. not only is it not good, it doesn't qualify as the medium in which you are being paid. [ laughter ] >> you're doing something else. this is a long blog post you got here, buddy. >> seth: you wrote a wonderful article for "t"t atlantic", a very t tught-provoking article about our penal system. >> right. >> seth: and how that affects the black community. if you could speak for us about the level of mass incarceratiom right now in this country. >> well, we have a lot of people in jail. we have both as a -- you know, per capita ratio 750 per 100,000 people in jail. that is the e ghest in the
the next cloot always this way. this has happened over the last t 40 years o oso. and so, again, we made a policy change in this country. and we now have a moral, moral disaster on our hands. >> seth: you speak in this article about how it's sort of both the democratic and republican party were guilty of making mass incarceration a policy. recently, prident obama outlawed having to put criminal history on a federal job plication. >> r rht. >> seth: do you think that's a step in the right direction or helpful in any way? >> well, i mean, it's better than what was happening in the '90s. i was around for that. i mean it is a step in the right direction, but it's just a step. we need many, many, many more steps. you know, again, to get back to our 1970 level of incarceration, we got to cut our prison population by like 80%. >> seth: mm-hmm. >> there's a lot of work that has to be done. that's one step.
but, y y know, the other piece of this is that, you know, it makes the assumption that people aren't using having a prison record as an excuse to discriminate. that it's actually a legitimate thought. and i'm not suret is, you know? discrimination against black people in this country has a long and storied history. >> seth: mm-hmm. well, i recommend -- i highly recommend everyone read the article because it was fascinating to me. this is very exciting to me. we s sre a love of comics. >> right. >> seth: you are writing "black panther." >> i am writing it. >> seth: this is starting soon. when does this start? when is this officially going to happen? >> april. >> seth: april. now, is this the first time you've written a comic? >> yes. >> seth: when did you fall in love with comicscs how did d at come about in your life? >> oh, god. you know, i was raised in west baltimore in the 1980s and i read "amazing spiderman" and i read "x-men." and these were like heroro, you know, people who were trying to be on the side of justice, but society threw things at them, tried to kill them, tried to do awful things to them. and that sounded really familiar. >> seth: mm-hmm. >> like just for some reason i related to that. you know, like i knew the story.
and so that was it for me. you know, i just -- you know, as a young kid growing up at that time, knowing the history of black folks in this country, i felt it. i really did. >> seth: are you excited or do you -- is this a whole new pressure to take on something like this that you've never done before? >> you know what, it was pressure before they announced it, because i had to write up a proposal to go back anforth and all of that. >> seth: oh, grere. >> but at this point, i think it's gonna be good. >> seth: okay, great. >> so, i'm okay. [ laughter ] i'm okay. >> seth: i'm very excited for that. and i gotta be honest, comic books, plus genius? like if your kid doesn't listen to you now, i don't know what -- >> like he's got to. [ light laughter ] >> seth: i don't know when he's ever gonna listen to you. >> i'm gonna show him this. i'm gonna make a gif outta this and show it to him. >> seth: okay. it's so real. >> yes, yes. >> seth: thank you so much for being here. >> thanks for having me. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: ta-nehisi coates, everybody! "between the world and me" is in bookstores now. we'll be right back.